bill berry

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Writer Blocked

I want to get back to writing. I feel like I have many stories to tell, but I frequently end up scrawling “#NoIdeas” or “no profound thoughts” in my journal. Work has been distracting, news of our politics hasn’t helped, and music has become more of a priority.

I came up with a possible way to get started: write a piece entitled, “Preface to a 20,000-word something-or-other.” Then I thought, don’t plagiarize someone else’s title, fool! That someone was Amiri Baraka, and his poem is a masterpiece:

Preface to a Twenty Volume Suicide Note

for Kellie Jones, born 16 May 1959

Lately, I’ve become accustomed to the way
The ground opens up and envelopes me
Each time I go out to walk the dog.
Or the broad edged silly music the wind
Makes when I run for a bus…

Things have come to that.

And now, each night I count the stars,
And each night I get the same number.
And when they will not come to be counted,
I count the holes they leave.

Nobody sings anymore.

And then last night, I tiptoed up
To my daughter’s room and heard her
Talking to someone, and when I opened
The door, there was no one there…
Only she on her knees, peeking into

Her own clasped hands.

Amiri Baraka

Can’t match that!! I’ll keep working on my writing.